International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has proposed an investment of up to $15 million in a parallel fund that will invest alongside the vehicle managed by Silicon Valley-headquartered Learn Capital.
Learn Capital, founded in 2008, focuses exclusively on education technology (edtech) investments largely in emerging markets. It is raising $200-250 million for its fourth fund – Learn Capital Venture Partners IV.
IFC was the anchor investor in Learn Capital Fund III, a $150-million fund with a specific emerging market focus and mandate.
Rob Hutter and Greg Mauro manage the main fund. IFC said the general partner and fund manager would be the same for the parallel fund. A parallel fund is an investment vehicle formed to invest and divest in the same investments at the same time as the main fund.
According to IFC, the parallel fund will invest in portfolio companies of Learn Capital Venture Partners IV that do not participate in ownership or operation of K-12 schools and have substantial existing emerging markets footprint.
“IFC expects that the parallel fund will increase investment available to education and skills-focused start-up companies across emerging markets, including geographies with limited access to venture capital,” the lender said.
IFC is also confident that the proposed investment will send a strong signal of support to investors and assist Learn capital in meeting the target for Fund IV’s final close.
Learn Capital invests in learning content, platforms, and services. Its debut fund, Learn Capital Venture Partners I, raised $50 million in 2012.
Its portfolio companies include Tencent-backed online education startup Udemy Inc; Indian edtech startup Springboard; online learning startup Coursera, which counts India as its second-largest market after the US; job matching site Kalibrr; and VIPKid, a platform that brings the US educators and elementary children in China together.